HR9517 - Responsible Business

What will I learn on this module?

Sustainable Development is the future of business and doing business responsibly is key to improving society as well as business success. This module builds upon your understanding of Business and Society developed from your previous study and will enable you to develop expertise in corporate social responsibility and business ethics as well as find out how to generate shared value. You will develop a current understanding of what makes a responsible business and the importance of acting responsibly and ethically, as well as the pitfalls involved in not doing so. You will learn about the tools and approaches organisations employ to develop responsible business strategy and the models which may be applied to develop a deeper understanding of the impacts, both negative and positive, that business can have on society at large. You will examine the way in which business report their activities and manage their internal and external profiles. In doing so you will develop awareness of the ethical issues involved from the perspective of the individual (manager /agent and stakeholder), of individual firms and of wider society, by combining a rigorous theoretical and a strong applied foundation on the topic. Finally, the module will equip you with the ability to critically examine business strategy and operations with a view to developing responsible business practices, key graduate employability/enterprise/entrepreneurial acumen that will enable you to lead organisations to ‘Take on Tomorrow’.

How will I learn on this module?

Your learning is supported through tutor-led and learner-led session activities, also through tutor-directed and self-directed independent study.
Tutor-led research-informed sessions will introduce responsible business concepts and theories. Case studies will be used to illustrate both responsible and irresponsible business practices. Learners will critically examine how a range of organisations respond to these challenges using real word data. Learners will work in asynchronous groups utilising online technologies to work together replicating modern business practice.
Your independent self-directed learning will involve you self-identifying learning activities, such as further academic reading, to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the subject.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

‘The learner-led, tutor-guided activities are organised in groups of around 20-30 learners working in smaller teams. This approach provides a closer, more personal academic support.
Academics will support you through the led sessions and in planning the types of activities you should be engaging in during your independent study time. They are also available upon request to support you outside of formal session time by responding to questions or concerns that you might have either via email or via individually pre-arranged appointments and/or drop-in sessions.
Academic support is also provided through the provision of a range of University learning support services. A wide range of online support materials is also available thought the virtual learning environment. These materials include recordings, webcasts, pre-recorded sessions, key academic skills, also an electronic reading list including RSS feeds that showcase the application of various practices presented in the module.

To support you in your academic progress, you will receive both formative and summative feedback on your work through the course of each academic year. Regular formative feedback on class activities provides you with the necessary guidance to scaffold your knowledge and understanding of the key concept and principles of the subject to enable your success in the final summative assessment. Summative feedback/feed-forward will be provided on your work after it has been assessed and graded. You should use all feedback that you receive to identify areas of strength and areas for future study and improvement’

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• Develop Knowledge and understanding of the key theories and concepts underpinning responsible business practices [MLO1]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• Develop the ability to carry out critical reading and the skills necessary to construct an academic argument [MLO2]

• Develop academic essay writing skills [MLO3]

How will I be assessed?

The module is summatively assessed by an academic essay (3000 words) which will examine students understanding of the key theories and concepts underpinning responsible business practices. Students will demonstrate the ability to carry out critical reading and construct an academic argument.

This assessment covers MLO1, MLO2 and MLO3.

Feedback strategy

Feedback/feed-forward on your summative performance in this module will be provided in the form of written or oral feedback on the submitted assignment.

Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module, particularly in relating to webinar and seminar tasks. Students should, however, be aware that formative feedback can, and will, occur in any communication with an academic tutor.





Module abstract

The term ‘Responsible Business’ is increasingly being used as government and society demand that business organisations operate with sustainability and ethics in mind. This module equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to ensure that business organisations behave responsibly and create shared value for all stakeholder groups. Your tutors will draw upon their own experience and research in the field, and the module design and pedagogy will enable you to undertake a critical and thorough examination of responsible business topics. These integrate a normative understanding rooted in business ethics, and an understanding of responsibility and the role of business in society rooted in CSR theory, discourses and action. You’ll learn through informative lectures and practical, tutor-led seminars and will be assessed on your understanding and ability to think and act critically.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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